After a snack-heavy period during quarantine, fitness YouTuber Will Tennyson recently set himself the challenge of leaning down as much as possible in just 10 days, and tracked his progress.
While he usually eats 3,000 calories per day, for this mini-cut challenge he reduces that intake to 2,300-2,400. "You don't need to count macros," he says, "just hit 1 gram of protein per pound of your bodyweight, get your fiber in, and just let your carbs and your fat just fall where they fall."
Having previously been intermittent fasting, Tennyson switched to what he calls macro fasting, where he only eats protein during the day, and then gets his other macros in the evening (which he claims makes going out to eat less of a hassle).
"A great thing about protein macro fasting is that it keeps your hunger down throughout the day," he says. "You may notice that when you have a carb-heavy meal or just carbs in general, immediately after you eat you're hungry again, and that's because you have those massive blood sugar spikes. So by sticking to just protein throughout the day, you're keeping the blood sugar spikes minimal, and your hunger is pretty stabilized."
In addition to changing his diet, the second change Tennyson makes is to increases his daily step count. On an average day he tries to hit 10,000 steps, but during the 10-day challenge he ups that target to 15,000-20,000. "I personally find walking to be very effective and very underrated for fat loss," he says. "It doesn't increase your appetite, it's easy to recover from, and it actually burns a ton of calories."
Thirdly, when aiming to lose fat, Tennyson also recommends that people pay attention to their non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), the energy we expend during our day-to-day habits that don't involve eating, sleeping and exercising, and find ways to incorporate physical activity into other parts of their day, such as parking further away from a destination and walking. "Just by changing up a few things, you can burn a lot of additional calories," he says. "Over the weeks and months, it makes a huge difference."
At the start of the challenge, Will weighs 179.2 pounds with 14 percent body fat. 10 days later, he weighs in at 173 pounds, and his body fat has dropped to 12.6 percent. "I know that sounds like a lot, but in the first couple weeks of a diet you will drop a lot of weight," he says.
"I definitely noticed a lot of difference in my abdominal region, and especially in my face, I definitely leaned out a lot there... If you know what you're doing, you can start to see some results pretty damn quick."
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